The future of the sunshine city's downtown waterfront just got a whole lot brighter.

Orillia’s city council made its $17-million development plan for the downtown, priority number one. The vision is to connect the city's downtown to its beautiful waterfront.

“Finally things have fallen into place. We've got a lot of properties for sale so we've got a challenge more or less to take advantage of this particular opportunity,” says city councillor Tim Lauer.

Lauer has been waiting more than 20 years to bring the city into the new millennium with fresh infrastructure. This includes widening roads, while replacing 80 to 100-year-old sewer systems and pipes.

This could make way for new condos, professional offices and shops in the old part of town.

“One of the best ways a downtown or core of a city through a renaissance is to have people living there,” says Mayor Steve Clarke.

The money is coming from other road projects around the city that are now taking a backseat. The mayor says maintaining Orillia’s tradition will factor in to every decision.

“We have great character. We don’t want to ruin the character, we want to build on the character so if we can have people living at Matchedash lofts or living here in a condominium above a business overlooking the water. That brings people to the downtown.”

Proponents of the plan expect ground to be broken very soon and within the next five years, the project will be fully complete.